In this post we examine why business growth isn’t just revenue and how you can use feminine leadership indicators to re-assess your business success.

You can watch here or continue reading below…keep an eye out for the 13 juicy Journal Prompts:

As business owners, the end of the year calls us to review our progress.

We find space in our diaries, grab all our numbers + financials and take some time to reflect and assess the year that was.

The main question we ask ourselves is, “How successful was my business this year?”

And it’s not uncommon to automatically go straight to our heads and list out all the external markers of success:

  • How much revenue did I generate?
  • How much did my revenue grow year on year?
  • How much profit did I make?
  • How many clients did I work with?
  • How many speaking gigs did I complete?
  • By how much did my email list, social platforms, website traffic, podcast downloads grow?
  • These are all really great questions to ask and things to review.

But what I’ve found is that these somewhat external markers don’t provide a holistic picture of our business success.

We are actually missing a big part of the picture – our internal/personal growth.


Thanks to the Patriarchy we have been socialised to believe that growth is linear. In order to be successful we need to continually produce more, do more, be more and achieve everything in less and less time.

If we don’t grow our revenue, grow our profits, grow our team, grow our visibility and reach, then we aren’t successful.

But this is a myth.

It’s the Myth of Eternal Expansion.

And it’s complete rubbish.

Instead, we need to look beyond this myth and acknowledge and activate the depth within ourselves and our businesses.

We need to pull out a blank canvas and paint the intricate, chaotic, beautiful and complete picture of our growth in order to REALLY assess our true success in business.

And this is where we need to uncover our Feminine (and somewhat forgotten) Indicators of Success when reviewing our business performance.

And this is what I plan on sharing with you below.




When it comes to income, I like to record my business revenue regularly, (and I break my year into quarters).

But I’ll be the first one to admit that my business has had to take a back seat this year and I knew that my numbers would reflect this.

However, when I did the calculations I realised that my revenue was less than this time last year.

This realisation felt like a stab to the stomach.

Shame and disappointment flooded my body and I started to spiral into self-doubt.

“What am I doing?”

“I need to get my act together!”

“I need to really make this business work!” etc etc

I’m sure you get the picture.

So, what did I do about it?




Below I share the 3 part Yearly Business Review process that I have walked myself through.

It balances out both the masculine/external and feminine/internal indicators of growth, ensuring your review provides an all encompassing perspective of what you have achieved this year.


STEP 1. Take an Embodied Approach + Liberate Tension

First, I took the time to come into my body and feel all the feels around my revenue.

I felt the shame. I felt the disappointment. I felt the sadness and anguish.

And I didn’t rush the process. I took time to be with those uncomfortable sensations and just let them be.

They were actually present in my body for a few days and I allowed them to linger (rather than squashing them down or numbing them out).

I just welcomed them in without any judgment. My only job was to truly feel them.

Then I expressed.

I shared my shame with my husband, a close friend (who is also a business colleague) and my mentor, and it felt good to get those feelings out in the open.

I also moved my body and liberated those heavy feelings.

I journaled my heart out and got all my thoughts and feelings down on the page.

By taking the time to identify, sit with and truly feel what was going on in my internal world, I was able to liberate the tension and feel better about where I was at.


STEP 2. Identify Your Feminine Leadership Success Indicators


I then returned to the depth.

I returned to the Feminine…because as I learned as a student of the School of Embodied Arts, we must take the approach of DEPTH FIRST, DIRECTION SECOND.

Why did I do this?

++ Well the thing is, despite my financials, I actually felt really great about the work I had completed during 2019.

I LOVED all the clients I partnered with and I adored all the learnings and insight I gained. And on a whole, I felt so aligned with my business and I was genuinely lit up about the future. ++

And that’s why I knew I needed to add another element into my end of year business review so I was able to paint the complete picture for myself.

I did this by crafting a multitude of journal prompts that tapped into Feminine Leadership and feminine qualities of business that I believe provides a more well rounded and representative picture of our year in business.

Here are the journal prompts I created that you may like to incorporate into your yearly business review.


Journal Prompts – Feminine Leadership Success Indicators


++ How often did I feel lit up and in flow as I worked on and in my business this year? How pleasurable was my business?

++ Did I align my goals and business strategy with my values? How did this feel?

++ Did my self-awareness grow? What did I learn about myself this year in business?

++ How has my inner growth and learnings nourished/benefited my business?

++ How has my business nourished me personally this year? What lessons has she taught me? How rich and abundant does this make me feel?

++ How often did I listen to my intuition/soul/body and use it’s wisdom to make business decisions? What effect did this have on me personally and professionally?

++ How kind, compassionate and generous was I to my business, clients, audience/community and myself this year? How did this make me feel?

++ How often did I stand in my power, speak my truth and show up as 100% me? What was the outcome?

++ Did I honour my body’s capacity when setting goals for my business?

++ How open was I to receiving support in my business? How did this help or hinder my performance and the growth of my business?

++ How open was I to collaborating rather than competing with others? What impact did this have?

++ How did I embrace simplicity and ease in all that I do rather than complexity and struggle?

++ How often did I create, honour and enforce boundaries in my business? What was the impact?


Sitting down and journalling on these questions really helped me to see that I have experienced so much growth, especially in terms of feminine leadership. I have completely changed the relationship I have with my business, the way I partner with my clients, the support I have received, the boundaries I embody, the way I set goals and action strategies…and the list goes on.

But probably the biggest achievement for me has been the pleasure I have experienced running my business   despite this year being tough for me personally.

Now I know I’ve shared many questions, but if you have the time, I invite you to sit with each question and dive in deep to uncover your answers.

I promise it will be an illuminating and valuable process and it will help to diminish the impact your ‘business numbers’ have on your heart, especially if you’re not feeling great about them.


STEP 3. Go Back To The Masculine + Strategy


After diving into the feminine, I felt calmer and more grateful for all of the positive (and not so positive) experiences I had endured this year.

Finally, the ‘painting of my year’ was starting to come alive.

There was detail, depth, texture and beauty.

I felt full. I felt content. I felt ready to tackle the numbers and external indicators again.

So then I went back to the masculine/strategy aspect of business.

I got crystal clear on my numbers and assessed what did and didn’t work from a strategy point of view.

I worked out my revenue and profit (which was actually not too bad) and looked at all of my newsletter and social stats.

I also looked specifically at my different service offerings, launches, sales funnels, content plan etc. and assessed what needed removing or renewing.

In addition I also looked at my Return On Investment (ROI) in terms of my time and energy input vs my revenue.

It actually turns out that I worked considerably less this year compared to last year (I’d say I worked half as much this year) and I earned nearly the same revenue!

Something to be said for working smarter, rather than harder!

Because I took a more balanced approach when reviewing my business, I now have a more thorough and holistic picture of what both my business and I actually achieved in terms of growth this year.

And it’s from this space of depth that I can now look at my direction for 2020.

I have a more grounded and clearer approach in terms of the strategies I need to implement in order to experience success from both a personal growth and business revenue perspective.

I hope this End of Year Business Review Framework will provide you with new and valuable insight, showing you that business growth isn’t just all about revenue. Rather, personal growth lays a rich and fertile foundation for business growth.


And if you need help reviewing your year in business and you’d like to take a more embodied (and highly potent) approach to business next year, then my 1:1 Private Mentoring Program – Feminine Embodiment + Leadership in Business could be the grounded yet highly strategic support you’re looking for.

This experience is for the leader who desires a pleasure-filled business that is sustainable and successful.

To learn more, I’d love to invite you to book a free call with me HERE .

Here’s to reviewing your business GROWTH with an open mind and heart and celebrating ALL of you.

Ainslie x